Ever since a law went into effect in January 2014, drivers in Illinois have been prohibited from using their cell phones while operating their vehicles, unless they have the assistance of a hands-free device. Previously, there had only been a statewide ban on texting while driving and using cell phones while in construction or school zones. Those found to be in violation of the new law face fines starting at $75, with repeat offenses possibly leading to a suspended driver’s license.
However, law enforcement officials throughout the state say drivers continue to disregard the new laws — and contrary to stereotypes, it’s not just teenagers who seem to have a problem putting the phone down while they are driving.
With the summer road construction season in full swing, there are more potential dangers to Illinois drivers on the highways if they do not give their full attention to what’s happening on the road. However, the rise in smart phones has made it difficult for people to disconnect from their devices. Not only are people calling and texting while driving, but they’re also checking their email, browsing the web, posting on social media, taking pictures and performing all sorts of other tasks.
Illinois police agencies have been encouraged to start enforcing the law more aggressively, as so far it has not had too much of an effect on the habits of drivers throughout the state. For example, the Illinois Tollway website states that between 2009 and 2013, there were more than 6,000 accidents in Illinois in which a driver was using a cell phone. Of those crashes, 33 were fatal. The agency also says drivers who use cell phones while behind the wheel are four times more likely to suffer an injury in a collision.
If you have been injured in a car accident that was the result of distracted driving, meet with an experienced Chicago personal injury attorney from the Arami Law Office, P.C. To get started, call (312) 212-1397 or contact us online.
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